Iron Bru reporter, Matty Holt, speaks to Iron fans from different backgrounds in his latest piece that gauges fans’ expectations for the new season.
‘I feel the last two years have been a failure for me personally and I want to amend that’ – Those were the strong words aired live on the Iron Bru Podcast by Scunthorpe chairman Peter Swann this week, as he once again hopes to galvanise the interest of the town’s supporters, ahead of the new season’s kick off in just 2 and a half weeks.
Scunthorpe have gone through a whole host of changes amongst the COVID-19 pandemic, released and retained players, a whole new management and backroom structure, and the prospect of no fans at the Sands Venue seems very likely for some time too. It sure has been an odd summer to say the very least.
But with a shiny new youthful minded outlook implemented by the club. It’s a talking point for us Scunthorpe fans and a huge hurdle that personally, I am unsure of how the club will fare.
So, for this week’s column I decided to put that question to you, the Scunthorpe United supporters, to see how fans of all ages, think we will cope in the upcoming season.
Firstly, I spoke to 21 year old student Josh Boulton (@joshboult), he spoke regarding the up and coming talent the Iron have added to their ranks within the summer transfer window. ‘I’m really excited by the young players coming in and potentially adding some much needed flair to the side, as well as challenging the first team lads for places. As long as Jordan Clarke is on a pay to play, I think it’s a great bit of business as we’ve all soon how good he can be for us.’
Josh added: ‘Depending on what type of football we play this season, I think we should finish within the top 10, aiming to challenge for the Play-Off spots. With the players we have, and in a league which will be a little weaker due to not as much money floating around, I can see us pushing up there with the big spenders like Bolton and Salford. I believe a top 6 finish will happen.’
VERDICT : Top 6 finish
Next, I spoke to Scunthorpe Live reporter, Charlie Wilson (@charliewilsonST) who believes the appointments of both Neil Cox and Mark Lillis are ‘masterstrokes’.
‘The appointment of Neil Cox and Mark Lillis are both masterstrokes by Peter Swann. In those two moves, whatever negativity fans had going into the season has surely been washed away. They’re two men who are coming into the job very much aware of what is being asked of them and also, with already good local ties to the town. My dad used to knock about with Neil years ago and is also friends with Telegraph snapper David Haber – they both speak very highly of the man and he has come across very well in his interviews so far.’
When asked about the Irons chances this season Charlie went on to say: ‘There’s been a lot of talk about a promotion push. On that, I’d say let’s calm down a little.’
He added: ‘The likes of Bolton, Salford, Mansfield and Exeter all look really strong coming into the new season and whist I’m confident about what they can do this season, Scunny are going to have some bad performances during thus strange 20/21 season. When that does happen, I would hope the fans do not slate management or players afterwards. With this squad at present, I think a top 10 finish would be a positive season.’
VERDICT : Top 10 finish
Adam Baker (@adam_baker_), is a lifelong Scunthorpe United fan and he says that the addition of Lewis Spence appears to be a hidden gem, judging from his SPL pedigree.
‘The new signings seem promising, all of them are coming in with something to prove. Emmanuel Onariase comes with high praise and I see him being pivotal towards keeping things organised and tight at the back. I am interested to see how Lewis Spence does, having played in the SPL, he could prove to be extremely influential in the middle of the park.’
The 22 year old added: ‘I see this season as being a bit of a wildcard, we have an incredibly young squad and a brand-new manager. There is obvious talent amongst this current crop of players, but a lack of experience could prove costly. Attack minded; entertaining football is what has been promised so anything is possible. I see nothing wrong with aiming for the playoffs.’
VERDICT : Top 7 finish
Next, I spoke to Michael Kent (@Mistertonmick73) as he shared his thoughts on the crop of player’s the side let go and further hopes for this campaign.
He said: ‘I’m not at all surprised with the outgoings this Summer, but what did surprise me was that Levi wasn’t kept, would have liked to have kept McArdle or Perch rather than Clarke for experience, especially with Jordan’s injury record.’
And his hopes for this season, the retired Iron fan added: ‘I would be happy with mid table, but after the last two season you just don’t know what to expect from the team,’
VERDICT : Mid table
Finally, I spoke to 44-year-old lifelong Scunny fan, Andy Whittaker, who drew comparison to young and inexperienced managers doing well within the game, with hopes that Cox and Lillis can follow suit.
‘I think the appointment of Cox and subsequently Lillis as his assistant has been a masterstroke by the chairman. He could have gone for another experienced manager, and there are plenty out of work at the moment but great to see that he has given Cox a chance to become a number one. Plenty of young and hungry managers that have been given chances at clubs have gone on to do better than the experienced managers. Look at Richie Wellens, Ryan Lowe and Dave Artell for instance. Hopefully Cox can follow with similar success.’
When touching on this season, Andy added: ‘It’s hard to say at this moment how I think we will do as I still think we need a couple more experienced players in the team to balance it out. But If we manage to keep hold of the likes of KVV, Eisa, Gillead and Colclough combined with the additions we’ve got then I think we could well be up there come the end of the season. My heart says the play-offs but my head is telling me mid table. Either way, as long as we play positive football, the players give 100% and we can see a big improvement then I will be happy wherever we finish.’
VERDICT : Mid table